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Midwives Sign New Contract

Icelandic midwives signed a new contract with the state on Tuesday, RÚV reports. According to Katrín Sif Sigurgeirsdóttir, the chairwoman of the midwives contract committee, the new contract provides for midwives to receive the salary adjustment that many in the profession had long demanded. She credited a workshop that was held with government officials after the last contract meeting with playing a large role in this resolution.

Icelandic midwives had been without a contract since February and had been embroiled in an extended dispute with the government over both pay and working conditions. During the increasingly heated standoff, over a dozen midwives resigned from their positions at the National and University Hospital and all 95 of the midwives who provide in-home care for parents and their newborns went on strike in late April. One of the main points of contention was that midwives said that their salaries did not reflect the level of education required to enter the profession. Becoming a midwife in Iceland requires six to seven years of education, yet in many cases midwives experience a wage cut when entering the profession after having worked as nurses.

Katrín Sif said that not all of their demands had been met, but that the wage difference between midwives and nurses is no longer at issue. She declined to comment further on the details of the new contract.

The new contract is valid until May 1, 2019. It will be presented to midwives and voted on this week.

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